United Airlines and the University of Southern California have come to terms on a new naming rights agreement for Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum weeks after the initial naming rights deal drew criticism for being disrespectful.
ESPN reports that the new deal will apply specifically to the field and not to the stadium in general — which stands in honor of those who fought and died serving in World War I. Beginning in August, the playing surface will be referred to as United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The new agreement satisfies critiques raised by Janice Hahn, the Los Angeles County supervisor and president of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, who had said of the previous naming rights deal earlier this year that replacing the city’s name with that of a corporate sponsor “insults the memories of those the Coliseum was intended to honor.”
Athletic Business asked readers to voice their opinions on the original deal. 64 percent of respondents said that it was acceptable, while 32 percent said it was disrespectful (4 percent said they had other opinions).
In a statement released after the new agreement was announced, Hahn said “I am pleased that USC and United have come together in a way that will honor the memories of veterans who served in World War I and our broader community of veterans.”
The new agreement includes other opportunities to honor area veterans, including the possibility of erecting a veterans memorial at the stadium.
“We always want to do what is best for the communities in which we operate — and in this case, reaching an agreement which upholds the name of such a respected venue while modernizing it for the benefit of future generations was the right thing to do,” said United Airlines’ California president Janet Lamkin.
Financial terms of the new deal were not made public, though the field naming deal is for 10 years.